BMW X7 Will Hunt Big Game

Plush four-seat, six-figure X7 will sit above the standard three-row trim.

byJonathon Ramsey|
BMW News photo

There isn’t just one BMW X7 on the way, there are two. One of them is a standard model, an SUV in a gray flannel suit with three rows, lots of tech doodads, and some visual cues to make it more than just a stretched X5. There will be a range of engines from an inline six to a V12, perhaps a plug-in hybrid version, and a price starting somewhere around $60,000 in the U.S. For comparison, the X5 (pictured) starts at $54,700, the competitor Mercedes-Benz GL starts at $64,550, the Cadillac Escalade starts at $72,970.

The second X7, just confirmed by BMW sales chief Ian Robertson, is a six-figure chariot with just four seats, crammed full of opulence, and undoubtedly dipped in leather and walnut and frankincense and gold. Going visually further than the standard X7, a BMW forum member thought to be a company insider says it will take cues from the Vision Future Luxury concept from 2014, further claiming that the concept “in a slimmed down form is the new 6er Gran Coupe.” The Vision Future Luxury concept took its inspiration from the Gran Lusso Coupé concept of 2013, which is said to provide the styling cues for an 8 Series or 9 Series sedan that BMW has all but confirmed. Neither X7 will share components or a platform with the coming Rolls-Royce crossover, instead sitting on an iteration of the 35up platform used in the current 7 Series.

The mondo plush X7 will gun for blood in the sub-$200,000 market, a segment opened up and tenderized by the Range Rover and Mercedes G-Class that will soon field a new cadre of entries. Cadillac is working on a six-figure Escalade, everyone expects Mercedes to introduce a Maybach version of its coming GLS-Class crossover, Audi has a Q9 on the boil somewhere in its overstocked kitchen, and Volvo just introduced a $105,895 XC90 Excellence. When there’s a six-figure Volvo crossover in the mix, that’s when you know shit just got real. That positioning will give the BMW plenty of pricing room without trespassing on territory staked out by the Rolls-Royce.

At the other end, BMW confirmed the arrival of a small crossover but wouldn’t identify it. It’s thought to be the X2, a coupe version of the X1 in the same, yet dinkier, mold of the X4 and X6. It should be here next year, the X7 in 2018. Now about that X7 M